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Don’t repeat the Maccabees’ mistake — safety through solidarity, not surveillance

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This week, Jewish people around the world will light Hanukkah menorahs and commemorate the Maccabees, Jewish rebels who fiercely resisted the anti-Semitic violence of the Greek empire.

According to the Book of Maccabees, in the year 168 BC, the Hellenistic emperor Antiochus brutally conquered Jerusalem. His troops massacred the Jewish people and ravaged the center of Jewish life, the Temple. The conquering Greek empire made laws outlawing Jewish religious practice. They declared that anyone found observing Shabbat or circumcising a child would be put to death. It was these conditions that led to the Maccabean revolt, in which a small band of Jewish rebels used guerilla tactics to force out Antiochus and to re-light the lamps of the holy Temple.

The Hanukkah story is a miraculous triumph, but it has a dark side. The Maccabees, following their successful revolt, took the throne.  They, and their descendants, known as the Hasmonean dynasty, are known for their brutality and violence as leaders. The Hasmonean Dynasty not only ruled harshly over the Jews of Palestine, but also conquered surrounding areas, murdering dissidents and forcing non-Jews to convert to Judaism (which is illegal under Jewish law).

Each Hanukkah, the story of the rebellious Maccabees and the cruel Hasmonean dynasty reminds that that we must fiercely defend our communities from anti-Semitism– but that doing so doesn’t give us a free pass to commit violence ourselves and to transgress the Torah.

Like many people who work at synagogues, day schools, Jewish Community Centers, and Jewish summer camps, one of the things that keeps me up at night is making sure everyone in my community is safe from anti-Semitic violence. But what is also becoming increasingly clear is that, ultimately,  we have a choice when it comes to our places of worship and communal spaces: Do we repeat the Maccabees’ mistakes and perpetuate repression in the name of safety? Or do we find safety through our community solidarity work?

The Boston Globe reports that several Jewish organizations in the area have taken “security” grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). But DHS, which runs both T.S.A. and I.C.E., certainly has a poor track record of keeping neighborhoods safe from White Nationalism and religious discrimination. As the parent organization behind the Muslim Ban, the incarceration of asylum seekers on the southern border, and the wide-spread surveillance of mosques and other places of worship, DHS is a prime example of the sort of racist policing that we need to keep out of our holy places.

In fact, a growing number of Jewish clergy are concerned that the presence of cops at synagogue can be dangerous for Black, disabled, trans, and/or undocumented congregants. Jewish communities who do interfaith programming or who are part of sanctuary networks don’t want to put their neighbors at risk by partnering with police, who have a long history of spying on Muslim communities, collaborating with I.C.E., and targeting communities of color.

As our communities open our doors for Sufganiyot fry-offs and Hannukah Sing-a-longs, many activists, lay leaders, educators, and clergy are looking for ways to protect our holy spaces from anti-Semitic violence while keeping surveillant and racist policing out.

A couple of months ago, on Erev Rosh Hashanah, I walked to my neighborhood shul in Boston for services. Instead of armed police standing outside of the synagogue (as is common at many synagogues during the High Holidays), I was greeted by smiling volunteers.  They stood outside the doors, wearing hot pink name tags that declared: “Community Safety Team.” During the afternoon on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, I put on my own pink name tag, joining a local pastor and two university students for our shift watching the synagogue.

My congregation is one of several Jewish communities in Boston that piloted Community Safety plans for the High Holidays this year through the organizations Kavod and Hashkivenu, collectives of Jewish organizations exploring principled strategies to pre-empt and counter attacks by white supremacists.  Dozens of volunteers– elders and college kids, EMTs and teachers, activists and street medics– went through careful training and coordination for their shifts, preparing to deal with any safety needs that our congregations might face, from medical emergencies to neo-Nazi intruders. Kavod’s Community Safety project in Boston is part of a growing trend; this year the Hashkivenu network included synagogues and independent minyanim in Philadelphia, the Bay Area, Washington D.C., and Chicago, all who chose Community Safety teams in various forms over police and private security for their High Holiday services.

It’s inspiring to watch this movement growing. From large congregations with hundreds of families to small organizations on a shoestring budget, every Jewish community can and should be developing a concrete, community-based strategy for defending against anti-Semitism. We don’t need to follow in the footsteps of the Maccabees, who fought bravely against anti-Semitism, but then turned away from Torah and towards violence.

We commit to keeping our communities safe through solidarity. Not cops.

Lara Haft

Lara Haft is a member the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical council. Get in touch on Instagram (@larahaft) and at diaspora6000.com.

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52 Responses

  1. Barry2 on December 26, 2019, 11:41 am

    Thanks for posting this, Lara; it’s definitely food for thought. I’m having some trouble, though, seeing how deescalation and volunteer defenders would succeed against a determined attacker, or how police presence at a synagogue would put vulnerable populations at risk. Would you please say more about this?

  2. echinococcus on December 26, 2019, 1:45 pm

    If you had a dram of historic understanding, you would realize that the Macchabees were the ISIS of the day, who got destroyed no different than the current ones. Prefacing the BS about religious repression in 168 BC with “according to the Book of Macchabees…” is no different than republishing IS history uncritically.

  3. echinococcus on December 27, 2019, 6:18 pm

    “… the anti-Semitic violence of the Greek empire.”

    It’s exceedingly disturbing to see that the ” Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council”, or members thereof, are into historical fabrication and “antisemitism” peddling.

    Let us see some basis for that nonsense, please. Meaning let’s have any documentation at all that the repression

    What we more or less know from historical documents (see an excellent summary in Tcherikover) is that the Macchabee terrorists’ religious fundamentalist insurrection against Hellenism and against the secular or hellenized fraction (possibly majority) of the Hebrew population of Palestine was met, first by the usual patience (and even a measure of admiration, usual for the myths of all colonized populations), then only by pitiless repression motivated by the armed revolt. NOT by the bare fact of the population being Jewish. Many Hellenized Jews jumped out in time to save themselves.

    • Talkback on December 28, 2019, 8:03 am

      Well that happens when history is solely viewed from Macaabees I which only describes Antiochus reaction to what actually didn’t even start as a revolt against his decrees forbidding Jewish orthoxdx practices, but a reaction agaisnt a civil war started by orthodox Jews against other Jews.

      But what’s even more disturbing is this:
      “The Hasmonean Dynasty not only ruled harshly over the Jews of Palestine, but also conquered surrounding areas, murdering dissidents and forcing non-Jews to convert to Judaism (which is illegal under Jewish law).

      Each Hanukkah, the story of the rebellious Maccabees and the cruel Hasmonean dynasty reminds that that we must fiercely defend our communities from anti-Semitism– but that doing so doesn’t give us a free pass to commit violence ourselves and to transgress the Torah.”

      Despite her version of history it troubles me that it doesn’t lead to any universal lessons, but just to Jewish exclusive ones. Seriously, when I read the title of this article I initially thought this would be an article against surveillance of and about solidarity with Palestinians.

      And what does it even mean when she says that this doesn’t give Jews a “free pass to commit violence ourselves and to transgress the Torah”? The Torah is full of an alleged deity’s commands to commit “violence” to put it mildly. That’s the reason why other orthodox Jews justify violence and cruelty against Palestinians.

      And that troubles me every time. Why is there never any attempt to endorse universal principles for all human beings? It could help fighting against antisemtism. Just saying.

      • Mooser on December 28, 2019, 1:21 pm

        ” but a reaction against a civil war started by orthodox Jews against other Jews.”

        Yup. They were truly a bunch of losers. I was explaining this to my wife while I lit the candles the other night. And I got a present, too.

  4. Talkback on December 28, 2019, 7:27 am

    I get it. She is actually not talking about the “Maccabees” or the “Greek empire”. Because the Maccabean revolt started less as an uprising against foreign oppression but as a orthodox Jew’s civil war against reformist Jews. I would rather call the former antisemitic than the Greek Empire which cided sided with Hellenizing Jews to strenghten its position which was the reason why he punished orthodox Jews by forbiding their religious practice.

    So she’s actually talking about Palestinian’s rebels who fiercly resist the racist violence, oppression and force conversion to Zionism of and by the Jewish “empire” and who want to liberate their homeland from the occupiers.

    Great stuff and very subversive!

  5. jon s on December 28, 2019, 4:45 pm

    Most present day historians have concluded that the Hasmonean rebellion was not in response to the Seleucid repression of the Jewish religion. It’s the other way around: the repression was in response to the rebellion/civil war that was already raging.
    Also; Antiochus IV was the Seleucid king, not “emperor”.

    The rebellion itself can be seen as a heroic effort of a people embarking on a war of liberation from a brutal occupier.

    • Talkback on December 28, 2019, 6:04 pm

      A Jewish Intifada.

      • echinococcus on December 28, 2019, 7:22 pm

        A Jewish ISIS directed at their more secular compatriots, rather.

      • Mooser on December 29, 2019, 2:52 pm

        “A Jewish ISIS directed at their more secular compatriots, rather.”

        Now, why didn’t I think of that? Explains it all in a few words.

    • echinococcus on December 28, 2019, 7:21 pm

      “Most present day historians have concluded that the Hasmonean rebellion was not in response to the Seleucid repression of the Jewish religion. It’s the other way around: the repression was in response to the rebellion/civil war that was already raging.”

      Precisely! And that element by itself should be enough to characterize the Macchabee (whose business was mass murder of their more secular, civilized compatriots and theocratic dictatorship), as obscurantist cavemen, not unlike the ISIS of our days. Not some “persecuted” “national liberation movement”. The Seleucid (and later Roman) domination was not, initially, any heavier than what it was in other places, and a sense of nation or nation-state was at least 1800 years away yet.

      “Heroic effort of a people embarking on a war of liberation” and “brutal occupier” my *$$. That’s ridiculously anachronistic.

      • jon s on December 29, 2019, 5:13 pm

        echi,
        Your use of the term “secular ” is certainly anachronistic. We’re talking about the Hellenizing elite, who were opposed by a popular movement which sought to gain freedom from foreign occupation. The Hellenizing elite, a good part of the upper class, collaborated with the occupation.

      • echinococcus on December 29, 2019, 7:00 pm

        Deplorable lack of info. Of course “secular” is not anachronistic, in fact it is the consecrated, ancient term to differentiate the sacred from the profane. As you would say of anyone in the Orders, for example, “Johannes, in saeculo Angelus Roncalli”. Anyone knows that at least.

        As for the Hellenizing population, of course it went with the occupation, as the very concept of “national resistance” is waaay anachronistic. Any reaction was religious; the Hellenized had no religious problem with the Macedonians.

        The main problem was the al Qa’ida of its time, ie the bloodthirsty fanatic Macchabees. Who, mind you, were not in the least against the Macedonian occupation but entirely about religion, ie aiming to exterminate the pagans, or sympathizers thereof in Palestine. Only when the Seleucid repression was provoked did they begin acting against the reigning power.
        Some history the poor kids must be hearing…

      • Mooser on December 30, 2019, 6:39 pm

        “The Hellenizing elite, a good part of the upper class, collaborated with the occupation.”

        Oh, I see, that’s why the sicarii had to stab them. Hey, it’s cool, we both know that Jewish ‘tribal unity’ is an antisemitic trope.

      • Stephen Shenfield on January 1, 2020, 7:46 pm

        It was clearly a war of religious coercion and fanaticism on both sides. Not just about how to achieve ‘safety.’

        The term ‘anti-Semitic’ is anachronistic. No one was against ‘Semites’ as such. ‘Anti-Judaic’ would be more appropriate.

  6. Nathan on December 28, 2019, 6:35 pm

    It’s okay to tell us about the “Jews of Palestine” in the context of the Hasmonean dynasty, but it should be noted that the term is an anachronism. At the time of the Hasmoneans, the country was known as Judea. I suppose that it would be absolutely impossible in an anti-Israel publication to use the traditional Jewish terminology (the Land of Israel), but surely it would have been alright to use the correct name of the country from the era in discussion. If the readers are able to handle the information that the Temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life in those days, then surely they should be able to handle the little detail that the Hasmoneans ruled over the “Jews of Judea”. The sky wouldn’t have fallen down on us.

    By the way, in the present-day Palestinian narrative, there was no Temple in Jerusalem (and there was no Jewish kingdom either). In the 1920’s, the Waqf published a pamphlet in English for tourists visiting Jerusalem in which it was noted with pride that the al-Aqsa Mosque is built exactly on the site of King Solomon’s Temple. The pamphlet even gives a quote from the Hebrew Bible about the choice of this site for worship. It’s absolutely amazing (I have a copy of the 1925 version). However, today, the Jewish Temple is always called “al-haikal al-maz’um” in Arabic (the supposed Temple), and in the updated version of the Waqf’s pamphlet for tourists it is stated that there is no proof that there ever was a Temple.

    Anyway, if it’s okay to publish in Mondoweiss a detail that contradicts the Palestinian narrative (i.e. that there was a Temple in Jerusalem), it should also be okay to add another detail that contradicts the Palestinian narrative (i.e. that once upon a time the country was called Judea).

    • annie on December 28, 2019, 7:27 pm

      https://www.britannica.com/place/Judaea

      Judaea, also spelled Judea, or Judah, Hebrew Yehudaḥ, the southernmost of the three traditional divisions of ancient Palestine

      surely they should be able to handle the little detail that the Hasmoneans ruled over the “Jews of Judea”.

      do you mean the Hasmonean dynasty didn’t rule over Jews in the other regions of Palestine as well?

      • Nathan on December 29, 2019, 8:48 am

        annie – The tribe of Judah settled in the southern hill country of Canaan, and the Kingdom of Judah was located between the Dead Sea on the east and the Shephela on the west. Afterwards, this area was called Yehud Medinta under the rule of Persia, and under the rule of the Greeks. However, the Hasmonean uprising succeeded in restoring a kingdom in Judea during the second century BC, and eventually the Hasmonean kings ruled the entire land. Therefore, the entire land was called Judea (even if the encyclopedia uses the name Palestine). When the Romans captured the area in 63 BC, Judea became a province which the Romans called IUDAEA. This territory included the entire country. So, yes, the Hasmoneans ruled over the Jews of Judea (and over the non-Jewish population of Judea as well) – and this means that the Galilee and Samaria were also the land of Judah.

        It’s okay to call the country Palestine, but it’s more exact to say that the country is Judea when the historic context is the Hasmonean dynasty and the Roman Empire (until 135 AD). In 135 the Romans called the province of IUDAEA “Syria-Palestine”. Even after 135 people still referred to the country as Judea out of habit, but officially it was Palestine (now part of the province of Syria).

      • Talkback on December 29, 2019, 11:10 am

        Nathan: “Therefore, the entire land was called Judea (even if the encyclopedia uses the name Palestine). ”

        That’s not a contradiction. The political entity Judea was part of a geographic region called Palestine (not to be mistaken with the political entity called Palestine since the 20th century).

      • MHughes976 on December 29, 2019, 5:45 pm

        I don’t think that ‘Judaea’ was ever the customary or theologically approved name of the whole mighty Herodias kingdom, which had considerable territory east of the Jordan and towards Damascus as well as in Palestine., though Herod was commonly caked King of the Jews Josephus Antiquities 17:11:4 (Whiston) makes this fairly clear and gives the names of all the many components.

      • echinococcus on December 29, 2019, 7:04 pm

        Hughes,

        Finally a word from someone who did the required amount of reading and digesting. Thanks.

      • MHughes976 on December 30, 2019, 12:00 pm

        Thanks for kind word, echino. Much appreciated.

    • Talkback on December 29, 2019, 5:55 am

      Nathan: “By the way, in the present-day Palestinian narrative, there was no Temple in Jerusalem (and there was no Jewish kingdom either).”

      It’s actually Jewish Israeli historians who claim that there’s no archeological evidence for King’s Solomon’s temple or of a united monarchy under David and Solomon.

      But please continue with your racist rant. It tells us more about you and your narrative than about Palestinians and theirs.

      • Nathan on December 29, 2019, 11:42 am

        Talkback – I noticed that you didn’t actually claim that there was no Temple in Jerusalem and that there was no Jewish kingdom either. I suppose that you didn’t want to go on record as a total idiot. You preferred to note that there is no archeological evidence for King Solomon’s Temple or for the united kingdom. In other words, you assume that the readers are absolute idiots who will conclude: “Well, if there is no archeological evidence of King Solomon’s Temple, then there was no Jerusalem Temple. And if there was no united kingdom then apparently there was no Jewish kingdom either”.

        The interesting issue is why you feel that it is necessary to give credibility to the Palestinian narrative of denying the existence of the Temple and the ancient Hebrew kingdoms. I can understand the Palestinians. They were caught by surprise that the whole world is familiar with the Jewish narrative, and they prefer to deny it. You, on the other hand, should be able to maintain your anti-Israel position without having to play this game of alternative history. But you can’t. You, too, feel that the Jewish narrative weakens the Palestinian argument, and so you write your manipulative comment.

      • eljay on December 29, 2019, 12:31 pm

        || Nathan: Talkback … You, too, feel that the Jewish narrative weakens the Palestinian argument … ||

        The “Jewish narrative” – the existence over 20 centuries ago of kingdoms run by and for people who had chosen to embrace (or who were coerced into embracing) the religion-based identity of Jewish – had no moral value in the 20th century and still has no moral value today.

        The Zionist narrative – the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the “right” to be supremacists, to have a supremacist state and to do “necessary evil” unto others – isn’t just weak, it is entirely immoral.

      • Talkback on December 29, 2019, 7:24 pm

        Nathan: “You preferred to note that there is no archeological evidence for King Solomon’s Temple or for the united kingdom.”

        Well, you were refering to King Solomon’s temple. Anf If you you were just refering to the Kingdom of Judea there is also no archeological evidence that this was actually a “kingdom” and not just a small tribal entity which was limited to Jerusalem and its immediate surroundings.

        At this point I’m not even sure if your accusation are honest and what the Palestinian claims actually are.

    • eljay on December 29, 2019, 9:04 am

      || Nathan: … If the readers are able to handle the information that the Temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life in those days, then surely they should be able to handle the little detail that the Hasmoneans ruled over the “Jews of Judea”. … ||

      It’s very likely they also ruled over subjugated non-Jews of Judea, much the same way that Jewish Zionists rule over subjugated non-Jews of geographic Palestine.

      Of course it’s possible that the Hasmoneans didn’t have to rule over subjugated non-Jews because – “in the dark without witnesses and camera” – they simply forced non-Jews to convert to Judaism or drove them out of their homes and lands or murdered them all.

      Today’s Zionists should be so lucky!  :-(

  7. Ossinev on December 29, 2019, 9:24 am

    @Nathan
    ” However, the Hasmonean uprising succeeded in restoring a kingdom in Judea during the second century BC, and eventually the Hasmonean kings ruled the entire land. Therefore, the entire land was called Judea (even if the encyclopedia uses the name Palestine)”

    Can`t be long now before the Mayans make a spectacular comeback and reclaim Mexico:
    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/28/americas/mexico-mayan-palace-trnd/index.html

    • Nathan on December 29, 2019, 12:35 pm

      Ossinev – I actually like your comment, and I hope you won’t mind my quoting you in the future. Generally, in the anti-Israel argument, the Jews are “foreigners”, “invaders”, and “colonialists”. Suddenly, reading your delightful comment, I find out that there is an anti-Israel argument that compares the Jews with the Mayans (i.e. the Jews are the natives)!

      I would imagine that if indeed one of the native peoples in America would struggle to found an independent entity and to revive their civilization, there might even be some Mondoweiss readers who would identify with this aim.

      Well, I understand that you probably wouldn’t identify with a Mayan struggle for renaissance, because you feel that the spectacular Jewish comeback is worthy of ridicule. However, it is refreshing to learn that even in the anti-Israel camp there is someone who understands the obvious: Israel is a story of the renaissance of an ancient civilization.

      • eljay on December 29, 2019, 3:44 pm

        || Nathan: … I would imagine that if indeed one of the native peoples in America would struggle to found an independent entity and to revive their civilization, there might even be some Mondoweiss readers who would identify with this aim. … ||

        No doubt. But they’d be no different from the people who identify with the injustice and immorality (and, quite frankly, insanity) that is Zionism.

        || … the obvious: Israel is a story of the renaissance of an ancient civilization. ||

        The only thing obvious about Israel is that it’s a story of blatant and unapologetic 20th- and 21st-century colonialism, (war) criminality and religion-based supremacism.

      • Talkback on December 29, 2019, 7:13 pm

        Nathan: “Generally, in the anti-Israel argument, the Jews are “foreigners”, “invaders”, and “colonialists”. ”

        That’s just another of your dishonest fabrications. Nobody makes this claim about Jews as such, but about only about foreign Jews who invaded Palestine under British gun to colonize Palestine.

        Nathan: “Israel is a story of the renaissance of an ancient civilization.”

        ROFL. So between ancient times and today’s Israel this civilization didn’t exist? Be honest, Nathan. Are you the result of genetic cloning?

    • Mooser on December 30, 2019, 6:45 pm

      “But with an increase in anti-Semitic attacks, I don’t think having a few greeters is adequate.”

      So grab your AR-15, put on your tactical gear, and go guard the old Schul.

    • Brewer on January 2, 2020, 3:44 pm

      Jon66
      Your point would probably be better enhanced by referencing genuine examples of “anti-Semitism”.
      In the two examples that form the basis of all your links above, both perpetrators were, and were known to be, clinically insane. Their motivation is therefore beyond the scope of rational analysis.
      Whilst it must be very useful to a certain ideology to define an act by the racial/religious identity of the victim – any mugging, robbery or mindless attack against a Jew can be added to the total “anti-Semitism” stats – it is grossly misleading and should be avoided. Either that or such crimes as this one:
      “A woman accused of trying to kill her neighbours with a hammer and knife has been found not guilty of attempted murder by way of insanity.
      Emma Tudor Worrall, 42, attacked Luigi and Anna Guido outside their home in Limes Road, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire on 19 April last year.”
      ……should perhaps be labelled “anti-Italian”, thereby providing more accurate statistics of the relative incidence of such crimes as they relate to identity.

      • philweiss on January 3, 2020, 8:54 am

        why isnt this argument exactly what people said about Dylann Roof, thereby removing the hate crime element of the murders? Even if this killer is not guilty by reason of insanity, does that mean antisemitism is not dangerous?

      • echinococcus on January 3, 2020, 10:47 am

        It’s not “exactly what people said about Dylann Roof”: the insanity that targets all people who are born with dark skin or Jewish ancestry, i.e. racism, is unrelated to attacks triggered, in equally insane persons, by a perceived crime or misdeed attributed to an entire group.

        It may be meaningless for some, but “anti-Semitism” triggered, in a no doubt already impaired mind, by perceived or imagined crimes of the Zionists, and directed at people perceived or known as Zionists, is not equivalent to Dylann Root-type action.

      • Talkback on January 3, 2020, 1:08 pm

        Brewer: “In the two examples that form the basis of all your links above, both perpetrators were, and were known to be, clinically insane. ”

        So? Can only clinically sane people commit antisemitic attacks? Yelling out antisemitic slurs is obviously antisemitic.

      • jon s on January 3, 2020, 1:54 pm
      • Jon66 on January 3, 2020, 3:29 pm

        Brewer,
        They were attacked because they were Jewish. The attackers were open about it.
        These were not muggings that happened to be on Jews.
        It’s like saying Emmitt Till just happened to be black.
        As for “clinically insane”, I know of no medical/clinical definition of this term.

      • Mooser on January 3, 2020, 4:46 pm

        “Time for unity and solidarity.”

        ROTFLMSJAO! As long as it doesn’t include letting the Joint List into the Government!

        Oh, wait, are you talking about Jewish unity and solidarity? C’mon now, you aren’t going to burden yourself with that old ‘tribal unity’ trope, are you?

      • echinococcus on January 3, 2020, 5:21 pm

        The Zionist resident is at it, whining again.

        How the hell is an ordinary, non-specialist person to know that Jews, adherents of a religion, are different from the murderous political movement Zionism?

        All they get exposed to, thanks to the Zionist-dominated media and Zionist-dominated government propaganda, is that Zionism fully represents all Jews. Even the US government just declared “Jewish” to be a nationality within American citizens. All this, according to Zionist diktat.

        Or do you think that the rabid genocidaire invaders in Palestine present themselves as Zionist as different from Jewish? Really? On the contrary, their nationality is affirmed as “Jewish”. How’s a poor fellah to know Yahood from Zionist? How’s a poor TV-watching prole to know Jewish from secular tribal Jewish from Zionist?

        And the tiny voice of the opposition is ferociously repressed by Zio-slave governments and Zionist dominated media, so I wouldn’t count on that. Liberals who get indignant when people confuse the two things should achieve either the end of the media propaganda or a statistical superiority of anti-Zionists among those who call themselves Jewish.

        So if anyone confuses Jewish and Zionists, the Zionists only have themselves to blame and should shut up.

      • eljay on January 3, 2020, 5:57 pm

        || jon s: https://www.ujafedny.org/marchnyc/?utm_source=ujafedny_site&utm_medium=uja_hero
        Time for unity and solidarity. ||

        … We invite New Yorkers of every background to stand with us and say no to hate and no to fear. …

        I wonder how many of the Jewish groups involved in this march are hypocritically happy to “say yes to fear and yes to hate” when it comes to advocating, engaging in, supporting and/or defending Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism, colonialism and (war) criminality.

      • Brewer on January 3, 2020, 8:30 pm

        “They were attacked because they were Jewish.”

        Hmmmmm. From your own link:

        “The Legal Aid Society lawyer also denied Logan committed a hate crime.
        “I myself am Jewish, and I believe these are trumped-up charges,” Katzman told The Post.
        “I understand hate crimes are up and it’s a serious problem, but I don’t believe Ms. Logan committed a hate crime.””

        “According to CNN, Thomas’s family released a statement reading in part, “We believe the actions of which he is accused, if committed by him, tragically reflect profound mental illness for which. … Grafton has received episodic treatment before being released.” They also said that Thomas “has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races.”

      • Talkback on January 4, 2020, 5:58 am

        jon s: “Time for unity and solidarity.”

        For a brief moment I thought you would adress all of humanity against racism.
        But that would be too universal, wouldn’t it.

      • Brewer on January 4, 2020, 6:10 pm

        NB.
        I was probably too optimistic in expecting certain viewers to read my post thoroughly – particularly the opening line:
        “Your point would probably be better enhanced by referencing genuine examples of “anti-Semitism””
        …..but given the ridiculous IHRA attempt to include criticism of Israel and its policies into this already cheapened concept, it is unsurprising that the likes of jon66 would dig a deeper hole in which to bury it.
        Fine with me – as a weapon, thanks to such exaggeration and mis-application it has already lost much of its potency.
        I abhor racist acts against any person but I question the discriminatory practice of singling out one group for special treatment – i.e. its very own label which, it seems to me, is a deliberate attempt to attach Historical atrocities to perfectly legitimate critique and, in this case, the dubious claim that the problem is on the rise due to the actions of insane persons whose motives, as I pointed out above, are beyond the scope of rational analysis.

      • Jon66 on January 5, 2020, 12:15 am

        Brewer,
        I don’t know the legal definition of a hate crime
        But I do know that when you say “You f–-king Jew, your end is coming!” it’s anti-Semitic.
        As for Grafton, “ The handwritten journal, which investigators say they found at Thomas’s home in Greenwood Lake, includes questions like “why ppl mourned for anti-Semitism when there is Semitic genocide” and references to “Adolf Hitler” and “Nazi culture” on the same page as drawings of a Star of David and swastika.” https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-monsey-stabber-charged-hate-crimes-20191230-r3tsypjsjjei7gkznebu7efshu-story.html%3foutputType=amp
        Of course he was mentally ill. People who are not I’ll do not try to hack other people apart with machetes. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t anti-Semitic. He didn’t randomly walk into a house of worship and find Jews. He knew that he wanted to attack Jews.
        Why is this so difficult? If he attacked Hispanics after journaling about Mexican immigrants would we hesitate to label it racism?

      • Jon66 on January 5, 2020, 12:48 am

        Talk,
        “ For a brief moment I thought you would adress all of humanity against racism.
        But that would be too universal, wouldn’t it.”

        So I guess you are one of those “All Lives Matter” guys.

        “ Saying “Black Lives Matter” is neither separatist nor racist. It is not anti-white, and, contrary to what some in the media may say, it is definitely not anti-police. It does not denote, promote, or support hatred of or violence against any ethnic group. Let me say that again: it does not promote or support hatred or violence against any group. It is about promoting the love of self and African-American rights to equal justice and fairness.

        In no way does valuing the lives of black people in America and the global diaspora mean de-valuing the lives of anyone else. That’s why many of us feel a sense of confusion, bewilderment, and, yes, anger, when people shout “All Lives Matter” as a counter to “Black Lives Matter.” ”

        https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/07/black-lives-matter-all-lives-matter

        https://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12136140/black-all-lives-matter

      • Talkback on January 5, 2020, 2:28 pm

        jon66: “So I guess you are one of those “All Lives Matter” guys.”

        I guess you needed another straw man argument. I’m not saying “all lives matter” when people say “black lives matter. Allthough I would have called thé slogan “Black lives matter, too.”

        Besides that: Do you seriously claim that Jews in the US are in the same position as blacks?

        jon66: “As for Grafton, “ The handwritten journal, which investigators say they found at Thomas’s home in Greenwood Lake, includes questions like “why ppl mourned for anti-Semitism when there is Semitic genocide” and references to “Adolf Hitler” and “Nazi culture” on the same page as drawings of a Star of David and swastika.””

        That’s not antisemitic but a comparison of anti humane policies. You wouldn’t call it racist if he was talking about Iran or other states.

      • oldgeezer on January 5, 2020, 3:19 pm

        It might be wrong to use those two events to extrapolate trends in a population which isn’t suffering from some form of insanity but they were clearly antisemitic events. In their insanity they didn’t target Buddhists but Jews specifically. Being insane doesn’t also prevent someone from being a racist or bigot as well.

      • Brewer on January 5, 2020, 5:17 pm

        “In no way does valuing the lives of black people in America and the global diaspora mean de-valuing the lives of anyone else. That’s why many of us feel a sense of confusion, bewilderment, and, yes, anger, when people shout “All Lives Matter” as a counter to “Black Lives Matter.” ”

        Same goes for what is maliciously and falsely labelled as “anti-Semitism. To wit:
        Standing up for the irrefutable rights of the Palestinian people.
        Criticizing Israeli policies and politicians.
        Calling for measures such as BDS to hasten the end of occupation.
        Calling Zionism out for what it is – a race-based ideology.
        The free and open discussion of what constitutes “Jewishness”.
        The deranged actions of insane people.

    • Citizen on January 12, 2020, 12:32 am

      In context, nearly all of the federal funds available to American local communities to protect themselves from terrorists goes to Jewish communities–despite the fact Jews comprise a mere 2% of US population.

  8. Ossinev on December 30, 2019, 5:14 am

    @Nathan
    “Generally, in the anti-Israel argument, the Jews are “foreigners”, “invaders”, and “colonialists””
    Etc
    You do have a tendency to hold on desperately to melting icebergs old son. Foreign Jews (ie practictioners of the religious cult of Judaism) unlike indigenous Palestinian Jews , their forebears and their successors are of course invaders and colonialists as they were the boots on the ground troops of the 20th century Zionist colonisation project.

    As for the “ancient civilisation renaissance” bullshit can you confirm whether or not you believe this civilisation was “peopled” by non assimilated pure bred blond and blue eyed warrior types – you know the most moral amongst the ancient civilisations at the time.

    As for “spectacular”. Well Benjamins deployed in vast amounts can be viewed as “spectacular”.

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